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Work on giant Croydon tower block to start next year

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WORK should start on Menta's 54-story Morello residential tower early next year, the company's boss announced this week.

At the same time, Craig Marks has unveiled proposals for a new 240-flat development on the site of Galaxy House, the former Bank of America offices, in Cherry Orchard Road, East Croydon.

"I have not disappeared from Croydon and am not going anywhere," he told the Advertiser this week, in a bid to silence critics who claimed Europe's tallest residential tower would never get off the ground.

Working with housing developers Redrow, Mr Marks said the Galaxy House development would add another dimension to the regeneration of the East Croydon and help meet the council's target of bringing 7,300 new homes to the town centre over the next 20 years.

Pre-planning application proposals for Galaxy House were presented to last night's (Thursday) meeting of Croydon Council's strategic planning committee.

The scheme involves the demolition of the existing office block and its replacement by four new buildings, comprising a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom flats.

News that the Morello tower development is getting back on track will be welcomed by those who feared the development, which received planning permission at the end of 2011, was in trouble.

Mr Marks has admitted in the past that investors had been put off by a combination of the effects of the 2011 riots and the general economic downturn.

But, he said, news of the £1billion Westfield/Hammerson deal for the Whitgift shopping centre was "just the thing people had been waiting for", and that interest from potential investors was being revived.

As a stopgap, Mr Marks has been allowing Network Rail to use the Morello tower site to store construction equipment for the new East Croydon Station pedestrian bridge, and as an access route for vehicles serving the various station facilities and businesses.

He said: "We had been hoping to start work on site this year, but Network Rail has now asked if they can continue to use it until the end of the year and I have agreed.

"We have therefore not been in a position to start on the development, because we wanted to ensure the station could continue to function."

He added: "We will be starting on site at the beginning of next year when we get the land back from Network Rail."

Work on giant Croydon tower block to start next year


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